I am an amateur birdwatcher, a casual birdwatcher. I enjoy the watching. I like knowing what they are. Although knowing exactly what type of Warbler, Oriole, Grasquit isn't as important as just knowing it is a Warbler, Oriole, or Grasquit.
I travel with a pair of binoculars (Bushnell 8x23), have for as long as I can remember. I don't typically travel with a birdbook although that is going to change.
Thank goodness I had those binos on this trip, whales, birds, dolphins, we'd have missed so much, I do however wish I had taken my other binocs (Bushnell Legacy, 8x42) along. Next Time!
I had quite a few bird firsts on this trip. Not really surprising as I was on a different coast with very different bird species available.
Thank goodness again that I came across a folleto/brochure "Quick Guide to the Birds of Banderas Bay', put out by Viva Natura. I'd be in the dark about several of the confirmed firsts had I not found it.
The Yellow Winged Caciques I had seen last year while in Vallarta, at the Botanic Gardens.
foto from wikipedia
This year however there was a large population that were regulars around the condo.
They are pretty, noisy, obnoxious, and aggresive.
A few of my firsts -
San Blas Jay, I thought at first it was a Yucatan Jay,
but well it couldn't be, could it!?
foto from Google images
Masked Tityra foto from wikipedia
Citreoline Trogan foto from wikipedia
Golden Cheeked Woodpecker foto from wikipedia
Russet-Crowned MotMot foto from wikipedia
Orange-Fronted Parakeet foto from wikipedia
we did see lots of other birds as well, sparrows, grackles, ibis, herons, robins, egrets, flycatchers, kiskadees, thrushes, grossbeaks, hummers, avocets, warblers, stilts, anhingas, cormorants, vultures, anis, cowbirds, orioles, kingbirds, saltatersdoves, sandpipers, frigates, pelicans.
It was a good birding opportunity, and all these were seen randomly while doing other things - just imagine if I'd actually been looking for birds!